Sitting Front Row in Paris Changed Everything for Camila Coelho

Ten years on, Paris is still her favorite place in the world.

Camila Coelho Paris
(Image credit: Courtesy of Eusebio Mendonça)

Welcome to Marie Claire’s Add It to the List, an inside guide to one cool place by one cool person. This month, multi-hyphenate style maven Camila Coelho shares her ultimate guide to the City of Light, as she marks ten years since her first Paris Fashion Week.

Camila Coelho

Camila Coelho poses for the cameras in a Dior one-shoulder dress.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Eusebio Mendonça)

Aside from my native Brazil, Paris is my favorite place in the world. I can’t explain it; there’s just a quality to it that calms me down. It feels so romantic, and it’s the one city where Fashion Week doesn’t feel overwhelming for me. Even if I’m rushing around and late for a show, I look out the window and admire how lovely the city is, taking in the old buildings and trying to imagine what Paris was like 100 or 200 years ago. As a Pisces, I’m all about energy, and I really connect with the energy here. I love the charm of the streets, and the calming, magical feeling I get when I look at the Eiffel Tower—especially at night when it’s shining.

The first time I came to Paris was for Fashion Week with Dior Couture in 2014. It felt like a dream. I was starstruck that I was invited and sitting front row at a time when it was hard to even get into shows. I think that’s also a big part of why Paris is so special to me— it was such a turning point in my career.

Since then, I’ve been able to meet some amazing people here—I’m very lucky to have made true friends through the industry that have become like family. Some of them have even come back to Brazil with me. It’s funny, because when I first came to Paris, I thought Parisians were more dry and cold, especially compared to Brazilians who are so warm. But then I realized that once you get to know them, Parisians open up and become incredibly warm and welcoming, which makes me love the city even more.

Camila Coelho

Camila Coelho poses in a fur-trimmed jacket and butter yellow look by Loewe.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Eusebio Mendonça)

What to Pack

If I’m coming for Fashion Week in February, I always pack great coats, which make your whole outfit even if what you have on underneath is more basic. I love an all-black outfit in Paris, like suiting with amazing accessories—when I think of Paris, I think of effortless chic, so I always pack monochromatic looks. Right now, I’m loving a piece from my brand, Camila Coelho Collection, which is a super long olive green coat with a beautiful structure. I wore it the first day I was here and I got so many compliments.

Boots are also a PFW essential for me, and I’m loving a patent brown leather pair from Saint Laurent right now. I also have some super cool Acne boots in black leather with a smaller heel, and they’re so comfortable.

When it comes to beauty, I usually keep my makeup more neutral and play with my hair look a bit more. That said, yesterday I went to the Dior show and I wore a little black liner—my makeup artist used the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, and I’m still trying to take it off. I washed my face, like, five times. I also own a ton of perfumes, but while I’m in Paris I’m using one by Creed.

Where to Eat

There’s many restaurants I love in Paris, but I have a top three right now. 

Siena is kind of new here, and that's where I went last night to celebrate my birthday. They serve Italian food that’s incredible—the truffle pizza, delicious. The burrata is one of the best burratas I've ever had, and they have a lobster pasta that’s insane. Plus the vibe is amazing—there’s even a DJ and a live singer at night.

Loulou is one of the places I always go to. I never leave Paris without going there, especially in the summertime, because you can sit outside and look at the view. It's close to the Louvre and it's the best truffle pizza in town, in my opinion.

Mun is another must for me. It’s an Asian fusion place, and the food is delicious. That's on the Champs Elysées, close to where I’m staying. It's on the second floor, and has a beautiful view of the Tower as well. You can sit inside or outside.

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Where to Stay

Plaza Athénée. I've been staying here for over eight years, and I love always staying in the same place because I literally know everyone here. I love leaving home and going somewhere that feels like home in a way. That's Plaza for me.

It's on Avenue Montaigne, which has all the designer stores. It’s close to the Dior flagship store, and you have L’Avenue right there if you want to have a quick lunch. I feel like when you’re walking on Montaigne you see everyone, which is fun. Also, the room views here are insane. In the room I’m in right now, I sit on the couch and I'm staring at the Eiffel Tower. It's just so beautiful. It’s also incredibly comfortable and the service is amazing—you’re really taken care of and they treat you like family.

Sometimes I do brand trips and I'm in another hotel with everyone else and I don't feel like I'm in Paris—for me, Paris and Plaza are almost like one.

Camila Coelho with her husband and son

Camila Coelho celebrates her birthday with husband Ícaro and son Kai.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Eusebio Mendonça)

Where to Shop

I always love checking out what they have at the Bon Marché department store when I’m here. Their selection is very well curated. I actually brought my son there the day before Fashion Week started on Monday.

I head to Avenue Montaigne if I’m looking for designer items since all the stores are there, but then I also like to look for vintage shops, so I’ve been asking people about the vintage shops that are new and hot right now. Vintage shops in Paris are very unique. Some of my favorites are Palace Callas, Open Dressing, Predilection, and Nuovo.

I haven’t made any purchases this time. It was my birthday, so I knew I was going to get gifts, but I have found some incredible items in Paris over the years. I bought a denim Chanel bag last time, but mostly I’m a shoe freak, so I always get shoes when I come here—which means Saint Laurent for me. I’m obsessed with their pumps, like one pair I have that’s brown patent leather with the gold heel, and another that’s two-toned black and white.

Where to Go

I don’t really club in Paris because I’m always so tired from Fashion Week events, but I did go to a club named Raspoutine once, and that was a lot of fun.

One of my favorite experiences in Paris is the legendary cabaret Le Crazy Horse. The Dior team brought me there and I was obsessed. It's so artistic—I had so much fun watching the whole show and I recommended it to friends. I went twice and I loved it.

Other than that, when I’m in Paris I try to go with the flow and be with people I love, because I usually have such a tight schedule. I love just walking around, getting close to the Eiffel Tower or stopping by a classic Parisian café. I have Parisian friends now that I talk to on a daily basis. You know, I come to Paris Fashion Week and then I'm like, at my friend Gary's house having breakfast with him there. Getting to know the city more and the people more makes me love it more and want to come more often.

Camila Coelho in Paris

Camila Coelho in a black leather mini dress by Acne Studios under the Eiffel Tower.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Eusebio Mendonça)
Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.